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Commercial Broadcasting in the UK - Over-Regulation and Misregulation?

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Abstract

The regulation of commercial television and broadcasting in the United Kingdom has evolved from the principles of public service broadcasting. Much of this regulation is paternalistic and does not place great emphasis on the most effective way of regulating an industry to achieve agreed objectives. This paper takes a critical look at commercial broadcasting regulation in the light of the recent recommendations of the Peacock Committee. In particular, the objectives of broadcasting are examined, the effectiveness and desirability of franchising is assessed, as are the present administration of the radio spectrum and the ownership restrictions imposed by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The paper concludes with a set of further positive recommendations for the deregulation of commercial broadcasting in the UK.

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